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Ferrellgas, Minnesota Complaints & Reviews - Price gouge, harassed to leave!

Ferrellgas Contacts & Informations

Ferrellgas

Posted:    Scott

Price gouge, harassed to leave!

Complaint Rating:  99 % with 72 votes
Contact information:
Ferrellgas
Minnesota
United States
Some time ago, I converted from an electric heat system to a forced air propane. I contracted with a then-locally-managed company, Suburban Propane. They had a nearby office/distribution center, and their prices were reasonable/competitive. lso, they offered a no-tank-fee arrangement as long as I got propane through them.

Things went along fine, until the 2006-2007 heating season, when Suburban was purchased by Ferrellgas. I was on a keep-full arrangement, and the first tank fill I got from Ferrellgas, was $2.40/gal +. Fuel prices were high at the time, so I assumed propane had gone up as well, so I did some checking. Turns out, Ferrell's price was 80 cents a gallon more than virtually all the other places in the area. I quickly called to get off of keep-full, until I could find another gas company.

Fast forward 2 months... I get another fill bill. This time, for a price right around $1.00/gallon more than the other guys. I called and asked why my keep-full order didn't get removed. I got "I'm sorry sir, we don't have a record of that change in our system". I asked that it be taken off, again, and paid the bill. It apparently "took" this time. It should be also noted, that the call center was now 800 miles away in Kansas, and that they had completely dissolved 2 local offices... the only people left were the guys driving the truck. No local support, if I needed it.

The following fall, I started calling for a new gas company. I started with a somewhat local place, 20 miles away. They sounded like a good place to work with, so I wanted to start the process of getting a new tank put in. The lady asked my name. I gave it, and she said... "hold on a moment". When she came back to the phone, she told me that they were unable to do business with me due to a lawsuit that Ferrell had filed locally that prevented their company from "going after" a long list of local accounts. My name was on the list. It amazes me still that any company can prevent me from doing business with a competitor, when *I* initiated the contact.

But, the story didn't end there. I managed to find a company Ferrell hadn't sued yet. They had a minimal tank rent, which I wasn't fond of, but their prices were low enough to make that pay for itself in a 1/4 tank. So I had them put a tank in, after letting my Ferrell tank go almost dry. Apparently, Ferrell had warned local companies to not try to pump propane out of "their" tanks. Ferrell would have to do that, at a cost of $90. Fortunately, the timing worked out that as my tank was nearly dry, the new company was able to schedule the new install.

About a month or so after the install (might have been a couple), I called Ferrell to tell them to come and get their old tank. They told me they would, and told me that it would be $90 to pump it out if there was anything left in it. I assured them it was essentially dry, and to get it off the lawn. Yesterday, I get a bill in the mail from Ferrell for "misc fees". I call to inquire what the fee is, and she informs me that it was a non-use fee. I reminded her that I had called and told them to get the tank. I got the standard "I'm sorry sir, we don't have a record of that request".

I informed her that there was no way I was gonna pay $75 for a non-use fee on a tank I told them to come and get. She said they'd have to send someone to get the tank. Also, there would be a $90 fee if they had to pump the tank out... I hung up.

It's pretty clear they have a strategy of gouging the customer, and then making it difficult/expensive to leave their company.
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 7th of May, 2008 by   Mike Williams +1 Votes
Just got the Low Usage Fee bill yesterday, which shows my $478 payment for last fill-up. Totally outrageous, tried to call them, of course difficult to get someone. Emailed through the website, expect nothing but obscuration...
 11th of Jan, 2009 by   Maxim +1 Votes
Same sort of issue in Tucson. I was using Ferrell - the tank came with the house; we only use it for the hot - tub (why they didn't run the NG line to it, I don't know) - but we don't use a ton of it. First year is fine, 45$ rent, OK - fair enough, second year - 200$ low use fee (#&*#). The tank wasn't empty enough to stop me from paying this. NExt year, 100$ low use fee (why it changed from 200 to 100, I don't know..); now with the drop in gas prices, I figure its time to refill, maybe we can avoid the low use fee this year... their price is OVER 3$/gal. About 60c higher than other places.
They are rude and un-helpful. Time to save for new heater to get rid of them.
 16th of Jan, 2009 by   propanepirate +1 Votes
The price gouged:
In August I called up Ferrellgas to see if there were any price caps I could partake in. The woman on the phone said yes and asked if I would like to sign up for that. I asked, what do I need to do to sign up. She said, I'll just put that on your account for you today. I said, thank you, and that was the end of the conversation, with my price cap being at $2.64

So, I was a little upset when I received a bill, priced out at $2.70 a gallon, especially when the market is pricing it out between $2.30 to $2.40. When I called them up, the person said that I could not switch companies because I had agreed to a contract that would charge me $.50 for every gallon that was taken from my property and that I agreed to buy 1000 gallons from them this winter. I asked them to send me the contract and what I received a couple days later was the application to sign up for the 1000 gallon contract, not a contract I signed up for. I couldn't believe it! I was being held accountable for a contract I never signed and to stipulations that were never revealed to me, just because I wanted a price cap? On top of this, I don't think it's very fair to punish your customers for the bad business decision of buying a ton of propane at the peak of it's market, especially not the customers that are not bound by a contract. This just seems like a crooked business! So, after some deliberation, the person said they would forward on this information to their supervisor.

After waiting over a week I called back because I didn't want to be charged a late fee waiting for this supervisor to call me back. The person said that I was already late on that payment and would have her supervisor call me back to talk to me today. She actually did call, but I was in a meeting and couldn't pick up the phone. When I tried to call back, she put me on hold for 10 minutes. I tried to call back, and on hold for 10 minutes. I don't know what to do, can you help?

What about the other 99% of the population that would have probably just paid the bill once confronted with this issue/contract?
 30th of Jan, 2009 by   Warren Metzger +1 Votes
This is consistent with my treatment from Ferrellgas. They will not allow the freedom for the consumer to choose the best price in the area. They have a control on the market that other suppliers will not challenge. This includes high price, refusal to sell a tank, extra fees not in the contract, hard to get anyone in authority to talk to.
The OPEC oil price in Jul O8 was $131.22/bbl and my Fer. gas delivery was $3.72 /gal. The OPEC price in Oct O8 dropped to $69.16/bbl and my Fer. gas delivery was$3.80/gal;OPEC oil dropped to $49.76 /bbl in Nov. and Fer. gas was still at $3.80/gal.
WHAT GOVERNMET AGENCY DO WE APPEAL TO FOR PROTECTION FROM GOUGING AND UNFAIR CONSUMER TREATMENT?
 21st of Mar, 2009 by   Victim 92884 +1 Votes
I am in a battle with Ferrettgas now. I have been charged $4.61 a gal. They said it was a computer error and would lower it to $3.20 ( our local competitor is $2.80). I asked it I had not complained would they have changed they price. They said no, so I checked my bills for the last year, I have been charged from $3.20 to $4.50 for each fill. The manager said there is no relief for the past sales, but he could put me on the $2.65 cap for a year. I am afraid to agree to anything with these thief's, so I ask to be taken off of keep full, will use the fuel and deliver the tank myself to them. I was told there is a $75 an hour pump out fee for fuel, and a $75 pick up fee. I feel so betrayed by a company I should have been able to trust to bring me the best deal they could get in these tough economic times. I am embarrassed and hurt. This will not break my bank, but when I think of all the thousands they are doing this to it makes me think of AIG and all of the other corrupt company's sure to be pariah's in the near future. avaricious and reprehensible wretchs one an all.
 10th of Apr, 2009 by   Ken in Wisconsin +1 Votes
If you think it's expensive to buy from F'gas, think about this. I was charged over $200 for not buying gas. We have a F'gas tank at a lake cabin. Because of a family illness, we didn't spend much time at the cabin last year. We didn't need to buy gas in '08. So, we got a bill for over $200 for "non use."

I wonder what I'll find out when I call the competition this spring?
 11th of Apr, 2009 by   sadpropanecustomer +1 Votes
I too am getting ripped off from this company from "Hell!" I canceled my account last November 2008, due to extremely poor customer service and misquotes I received on prices for their services. After repeatedly calling them several times throughout the winter, they did not come to pick-up their tanks until April 2009. Now I just received a bill from them for $169.12!! For picking-up the 2 tanks at the same time - they charged me $81.56 times 2.0 hours for "Service Labor" and an additional $6.00 for a Fuel Surcharge Fee. Also, the tanks were 80% FULL - and I received NO CREDIT for the propane left in the tanks!!! I don't know if I can continue to fight this company on my own, so now I will have to contact my attorney. I just want to be rid off them forever!!!

Unfortunately, my new propane company sucks too! I called them a few week ago (after they filled my tanks and gave me another $300.00 plus monthly bill), and told them to please stop the deliveries until next Fall, as I can't continue to pay those bills right now! I mean it's Spring now and I'm not using as much heat and I know I'm not at risk of running out. They told me NO, they could not stop the deliveries because they were their tanks and they needed to come inspect them monthly and that they needed to "top" them off. I just don't understand that?? Here you have a customer telling you that they can no longer afford paying the propane bills, and they continue filling the tanks???? Incredible!!! I just can't believe that a company would force someone to buy propane when you've flat out told them that look - I can't pay the bills anymore?? Does anyone know if they can force me to receive deliveries - when I don't have any contract saying that I must purchase a certain amount???? I guess I'll have to ask my attorney about that too!!

Right now I'm saving to purchase a new OIL furnace!! My gas furnace is only 8 years old and I can't wait to rip it out and end this hell with the propane companies! Never would I recommend anyone to purchase a propane furance. PROPANE SUCKS AND SO DOES THE COMPANIES THAT SELL IT!!!
 13th of Apr, 2009 by   Cindy Dearman +1 Votes
Complain to the Better Business Bureau. The more complaints, the more likely it is that Ferrell will have to start acting a company that wants business. I too am having a fight with them about the non-use fee not so much for myself as for the people that will just pay the bill not questioning what it is for. You know all the little old ladies that can't check the tank themselves. Ferrell should hide their heads in shame for this sucker punch.
 18th of Apr, 2009 by   James4 +1 Votes
I had the same experience.

I was locked in a capped rate of $2.48 a gallon all winter, while the local price of propane from competitors went down. In March, I got a 100 gallon delivery on my 500 gallon tank, and they also charged a $8 hazmat fee, and a $6.99 "fuel surcharge".

Two weeks later they filled again. Only this time, they charges $2.48 for the first 20 gallons, which fulfilled my contract, and then charged me $3.56 for the next 85 gallons. Oh yea, plus another $8 hazmat charge, and another $6.99 fuel surcharge. Meanwhile, I check a local competitor and find the propane with them has dropped to $1.49 a gallon.

So I called them up and told them take me off the "keep fill" plan, I had no use for them anymore. I am burning down my tank now until it is empty. I went on craigslist and posted a "wanted" ad for a used tank. Found one, and found a local privately owned propane company who is going to move and install it for me.

Then I am going send Ferrellgas corporate headquarters a registered letter telling them that effective in 10 days, the new terms of the contract with me are: I will now be charging you $10 per day "storage fee" on your tank until you come and pick it up. And then start sending them bills.

Ferrellgas needs to be criminally prosecuted.

I will be doing my part to get the word out to everyone I know- do NOT use ferrellgas.
 13th of Aug, 2009 by   ferrellgasthescam +2 Votes
As a former employee with Ferrell, I can tell you, the company cares much more about making the stockholders happy, and care nothing about the customer.

If you lease the tank, you are legally bound to only have Ferrell's propane put in there, because the tank is FG's property. What they don't tell you is the price for a gallon of gas put into a rent tank is 1.00-1.50 a gallon higher than what they charge for a customer that owns thier own tank.

When talking to the customers, employees are not allowed to bring up one option with the customer to make them happy. There is an option with most service centers to purchase thier lease tank. Depending on the size of the tank, anywhere from $199-1000. That charge is the same charge they charged for someone buying a used tank to be delivered and installed. So you can get your used tank without paying labor, or for a regulator. The reason we are told we could not bring up that option is because the lease tank customer is the "cream of the crop" because ferrellgas would charge alot more for the gas and they can't have anyone else put the gas in.

I know numerous customers, after they bought thier tank, and saw the price difference in the gas (because we are only allowed to say the price difference is a few cents, to discourage a customer from that idea) the immediately drop ferrellgas and go with another company.

Another downfall with the company, is that if you are a commercial or ag customer, you will get preferred treatment. In the middle of winter, if a keep full residential customer and a keep full commercial customer 100 miles away call in out of gas, the commercial customer will get the gas first. Even if you have a newborn, sick, elderly, etc. And with the cost cutting they have been doing, if there is a "no overtime" rule in effect, you might not get gas that day, even as a keep full customer they are obligated to fill.

Ferrellgas tries expand thier business greatly, and ignores retention. Daily, there is a graph that shows the number of customers lost at every service center in the region, and the number of gains. Usually the numbers are about even. Ferrellgas spends 90% of thier effort druming up new business, while no effort to retain the business. My thought is if they put as much effort to retaining business as getting new business, there wouldn't be as many complaints on here about them!

They charge a "low use-no use" fee if you don't buy twice the capacity of the tank. An idea to make the stockholders happy. And I can tell you, I bet non-employee stockholders don't use ferrellgas.

They like to say that Ferrellgas employees are "employee owners" because of the employee stock ownership plan. The ESOP is NOT the ferrellgas stock that you get from a stock broker. It's another "holding company" stock. Employee stock has no rights common stock has. An "employee owner" has NO voting right for stockholder meetings.

The company doesn't know even how to spend it's own money. For an example, we have two delivery trucks with broken A/C's which requests to repair were denied. We were very low on spare parts, which parts could be ordered on an "as needed" basis, which made for emergency repairs (gas leaks) the only option shutting off the tank for a week waiting for parts. Requests for basic tools for the delivery trucks to do minor repairs on tanks were denied. Requests for new maps were denied. However, because the CEO was doing a service center visit, they remodeled the office (new paint, cabinets, carpet, executive office chairs for everyone, everyones computer monitor replaced with a flat panel, and a new lawn mower because the grass wouldn't get mowed "perfectly evenly" with the old one), shows the priorities of the management of ferrellgas.
 1st of Sep, 2009 by   AngryinErie 0 Votes
Just got off the phone with Ferrell. Had problems from the start. I purchased a home 3 years ago which had its own propane tank. I setup up a fixed rate contract at 1.699. the following day a truck pulls up and starts installing another propane tank and removing mine. I explained to the driver that I owned my own tank and he didnt understand, just kept saying they cant fill up a competitors tank, its against the law. after 3 hours of phone calls it was finally straightened out and there was supposedly a computer error in my account. the tank was filled and i got a bill 2 weeks later at 2.73 a gallon and anotherr bill for a new tank prepping/rental fee etc. More phone calls. The service rep said i was setup as an account for a barbeque tank or something. yeesh. she promised to adjust after having to explain to her that the whole house and all appliances are heated by propane and I dont even own a barbeque. it was adjusted to 1.69.9 as promised per the fixed rate contract.
I was called overseas for the military and my fiance'e was taking care of my bills. I came home 2 weeks ago and she told me the driver came to fill up my tank and left a post it note saying the price was wrong and call an 800 number which she did and corrected. they had charged me 3.74 in error and adjusted it to 1.69. I looked over my bills and to my horror I noticed I have been paying almost 4 dollars a gallon for propane for the last 3 years in addtion they were out here several times a month putting minute amounts into my tank and charging me 7.99 hazmat fee plus 5.99 fuel surcharge for every visit?!!! anyway I just explained this to a woman on the phone and they claim I have no contract, never did, despite the first bill correction. There is no contract on file or in any computer. When I asked why the driver then claimed the charge was wrong when he filled it 3 weeks ago she claimed I just started a contract for this year. I told her that isnt right and what proof is there, I never signed anything except for the initial contract 3 years ago which was auto renewal. iIwas in the middle of Iraq this year for God's sake, she just said there is no record or anything but I suddenly magically started a contract this year. . So I guess the driver can just sign me up for a contract whenever he feels like it.

In short I paid over 2.30 a gallon more compared to local competitors at a cost of 0ver 3200.00 dollars, Ferrell keeps no record on anything, and they cant keep their contracts and customers straight and they do what they will. They got enough money from me and I changed my service to will call.

I wonder what they would say if I let them fill my tank again and refused to pay saying I have no record that it was even filled?
 28th of Sep, 2009 by   madman69 0 Votes
I have been battling for over a year to get a refund on a tank that was picked up and had about a half a tank left. Ferrellgas is the biggest rip off business that I have ever dealt with. I know I will never get my money and even worse they did damage when they picked up the tank. Maybe I should have painted the tank and put a different logo on it myself and when they came to pick it up I could have said you already did that 2 months ok. Would fit well in with their classic excuse of "we have no record of that". HA HA
 3rd of Nov, 2009 by   GC5 0 Votes
I think all gas companys are out to screw you. I own my own propane tank and have been buying from Amerigas for around 10 years. I have a heat pump and only use gas for my fireplace which I use mostly when the temp. is real low and when we have power outages therefore I don't buy a lot of gas, Maybe a tank every year or two. Amerigas required me to send a copy of my tank purchase receipt to them every time I wanted a fill up. They said they purge there system every year or two and don't have a record of me in there system. The last time I called it was the same BS plus I was going to have to take off work to meet someone at my house so they could inspect and do a leak check on my system. That was the last straw. It was bad enough before but now I it's going to cost me a half days work to meet someone that's coming between 9am-noon.
I called Ferrell gas and they do not require any of that so I got them to deliver my gas. After delivery I noticed on the ticket that there was a Hazmat fee of $7.99. What!!! I could understand a dollor or two but get real! I have never paid a Hazmat fee before. They are not yet required to charge this so I guess they are getting rich charging this to all there customers! Well take it from me when I say they are all out to screw you and take your money and I don't think any of them appreciate your business. Everyone should stop useing propane for a couple of years and they would be crying for our business!
 17th of Nov, 2009 by   Poorbutproud 0 Votes
Sooo...we have a lot of people complaining about things they would have known if they'd read their contract (or maybe personal responsibility died and nobody posted the obituary), and a disgruntled ex-employee (really? a company is going to put high-volume/high-margin users at the front of the line for a finite resource? Shocking). Yes, their pricing is a little higher, but you see the difference in what you pay for when the smaller, cheaper companies run out (like is happening now in Minn. and Iowa) but Ferrellgas keeps your tank full. It's about value, not price. There isn't a single company out there that exists only to gouge customers. It's easy to place the blame on them when you're not smart enough to read your contract. Truth is, big companies like these are made up of people just like you and me who are doing their jobs the best they can. Face it.
 18th of Nov, 2009 by   James4 0 Votes
I went out and bought my own tank in August, and called Ferrellgas to come pick up the tank in my yard. I called them August 27th. I then called Again Sept 15. I then called again October 5th. I then called again October 25.

It's still sitting in my yard.

Attention Ferrellgas- you have fives day to get your trash out of my yard, or I will presume you forfeit any and all claims to ownership of this abandonded property. I can't wait to drag it out next to the road, and paint in very large letters- "FERRELLGAS IS A BAD COMPANY" in 3 foot letters on it.
 18th of Feb, 2010 by   CPAustinburg 0 Votes
I totally agree Ferrell gas seems as bad as Amerigas. I would not recomend either company! Buy your own tank. Ferrell Gas got me last spring with a $1.79 1st fill and $1.99 the next year. They sent out a flyer with the promotion. Well I got the 1st fill as described. I dont use much propane and did not need another fill for almost a year. I set up the fill online and they came out and filled it. Problem was the bill was for $3.52 a gallon. When I called I was told I was not under contract and I had to pay market rate. The clerk said this was coming from corp. She knew about the flyer but would not adjust the price. I was not under contract? What contract? They never sent one! Unfortunately I did not have the flyer anymore, not that it would have made a difference. I said come and get your tank and your propane. She said they would credit the propane but there was a $75 charge for tank pick up. Wait..I thought I wasnt under contract so where did this fee come from?? I called back the next day and talked to a different clerk and she did get the price adjusted down to 2.49 but once this is gone will be replacing them. Had the same type of problems with Amerigas. I got so fed up with them I dug up the underground tank and told them to come and get it. That was 2 years ago and the stupid thing is still in my yard!
 22nd of Feb, 2010 by   Cinncinatus 0 Votes
My landlord just had his tank seized. It's one of those giant tanks from Ferrell Gas. The landlord was going to convert everything to propane, which is the reason he kept the big one.) However, presently, it's only used to fuel a stove in my rented place, so it never needed to be topped off. Well, I put 50 gallons in it last month (after 9 years.) Apparently, my landlord had those low use/ no use fees applied to his account, but Ferrell gas keeps bad records and is confusing our accounts. Therefore, I'm trying to prove that I didn't put hundreds and hundreds of dollars of propane in the giant tank for the small stove I have used. Note: Not even the stove was used from 2008 to late 2009.

I'm sure any propane delivery guy would see what happened here--that is--the low use/no use fees were mistakenly applied to my account over the years. They would know that I could not possibly have used so much propane for a stove used by two adults.

Ferrell still claimed the tank was being taken because the propane wasn't paid for. I stated that if my landlord was paying the low use/ no use, then why would you seize his tank if you think I did not pay. My propane was inside the tank they took. Ha!

Well, now they are checking the archives to see that the old balance was for low pay/ no pay.
 23rd of Feb, 2010 by   RURAL PENNSYLVANIA 0 Votes
My secondary regulator was damaged when a snowmobile snagged my gas line . Ferrelgas would not sell a regulator and their service tech would take five working days to respond . The service call would cost $74.99 per hour plus parts and when he was finished a tank fill would be scheduled . The weather was freezing cold so all the water lines and tanks were drained . I told Ferrelgas to remove their tank .

A call to Provanta yielded results . A call to them Monday afternoon got a guarantee of a new tank installed and filled Wednesday morning . Plenty of parts are available to the customer assuring your furnace operating with a supply of gas . Ferrelgas is arrogant and will only bring you misery !
 25th of Feb, 2010 by   James4 0 Votes
They finally came and got the tank last week. (February 20, 2010).

I called them 8 times over seven months asking them to come get it out of my yard.

It took more than 300 days for Ferrellgas to respond and get it.
 15th of Jan, 2011 by   AmeriGas Customer Service 0 Votes
We are sorry to hear about your situation and apologize for your recent experience with AmeriGas. AmeriGas prides itself on providing our customers with the highest levels of customer service and we would like to help. At your convenience, please contact Fran directly via email at customerfirstfran@amerigas.com so we can promptly assist you with this issue. To better assist you, please provide your AmeriGas customer number, phone number or the address and zip code where your propane tank is located. Thank-You. AmeriGas Customer Service.

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